The measures announced for the island of Hainan, allowing the province to become a fully-fledged free zone from 2050, have revived speculation. Indeed, after questions about the potential of Shenzhen or Shanghai to replace Hong Kong, it is Hainan’s turn (see last week’s article). In addition to this note, a few lines on the official reaction in a stressing context with the security law in Hong Kong. It serves as a reminder of the long-term vision of the Chinese government.
No competition with Hong Kong
The Deputy Director of the National Development and ReformCommission 国家发展改革委员会, Li Nianxiu 林念修, spoke on the subject. Location and levels of development differ in Hainan and Hong Kong. Complementarities are more important than competition. There will be no impact on Hong Kong. For the next stage, during the process of building a free port in Hainan, efforts will be focused on co-developing the Great Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay -粤港澳大湾区的联动发展- in a spirit of effective cooperation while ensuring long-term stability, order and prosperity, guaranteeing the practice of “One country, two systems”.
One of the aims of this speech is to allay concerns about the future of Hong Kong. But it also reminds us of the Chinese government’s long-term vision to develop the country without being disturbed by purely electoral considerations every four or five years, which can call into question the decisions of the previous term of office by tweeting.
Very long-term vision
It is very often forgotten that China emerged from almost two centuries of turmoil before the advent of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and then from tormented periods such as the Cultural Revolution. The will of the rulers at the end of the 1970s was first of all to turn the country around, to find peace again and not to fall back into chaos. If the West did not have its reading grid and the will to make its own values and formatting accepted, dialogue would be facilitated. There would be a better understanding of China’s priorities and very long-term vision. Washington’s current spectacle would be less nauseating. The strategy for Hainan Island is an example of this 30-year long-term vision.
8 June 2020